House Passes Bill Expanding CUs'Reach

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WASHINGTON - (04/27/05) -- The House easily approved a billTuesday that will allow federal credit unions to offer a variety ofservices, including check cashing, wire transfers and money orders,to non-members within their fields of membership. But the measurefaces a more difficult time when it is voted by the Senate and iswidely expected to eventually be mixed in with a broader regulatoryrelief bill for credit unions. NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnsonapplauded the measure, saying it will provide low-cost services tomany individuals, particulalry immigrants, who are at the mercy ofhigh-cost check cashers and money servicers. "It offers theseindividuals another opportunity to transact business with aninsured institution that is regulated by the U.S. Government," saidJohnson. "These are people who are getting taken to the cleaners,who can least afford it. And it helps them establish a relationshipof trust with a financial institution." Similar laws have beenpassed in a half dozen states allowing state chartered creditunions to provide those services to non-members within theirFOMs.

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